Woodworking workshops

North Bennet Street School woodworking workshops and short courses are well-known for providing the highest-quality training in the fundamentals of fine and machine woodworking for individuals interested in exploring furniture making, carpentry and preservation carpentry. 


In addition to the fundamental workshops, two-day and longer workshops provide opportunities for students to build additional skills and fabricate useful objects of lasting value. Popular table and chair making, bowl-turning and timber-framing workshops are offered regularly. Master classes provide opportunities for professionals and advanced students to learn new skills.

Calendar

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Machine Woodworking - Frame and Panel Chest

Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan 6 - Feb 12, 2015
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Instructor: Ellen Kaspern
$800

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED

This workshop provides students the opportunity to practice skills learned in Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking. Each student constructs a small frame and panel chest. Through this construction process, methods of milling furniture grade hardwoods, layout and cutting mortise and tenon joints, cutting rabbets, grooves and flat panels are demonstrated and practiced. Throughout the course the instructor will discuss traditional furniture making practices and how they can contribute to design. The methods learned in this course can be applied when building larger pieces of furniture such as a blanket chest, bed or case piece.

Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking.

Ellen Kaspern has been a custom furniture maker since graduating from the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program in 2003. She is a member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers in Boston.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Chair intensive

Monday - Friday, January 20 - February 13, 2015, No class 1/19
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Jamey Pope
$2,350

This workshop is for individuals with some woodworking experience who are ready to tackle building a chair. Chairs have many special considerations but they aren’t difficult to make. Take this workshop and learn the fundamentals of chair making that can be applied to many chair styles. Build a classic ladder-back style chair in this workshop. We cover measuring, cutting, shaping, constructing and finishing the chair. Students choose a Danish cord seat or a transitional slip seat. Prerequisites: Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking and Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking or equivalent experience.

Jamey Pope is a 2006 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program. Before becoming a custom furnituremaker, Jamey was a general contractor.

Register

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Advanced Techniques in Furniture Design

Saturdays, January 24 - April 4. No class 2/14
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Matt Wajda
$1400

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED.

Explore the many aspects of advanced furniture making techniques through demonstrations and hands-on applications. This workshop may be taken on it's own or as part of the MassArt Certificate in Studio Furniture Design.

Matt Wajda is a 2001 graduate of the cabinet and furniture making program and has been an instructor with the continuing education program since 1999. He owns and operates a co-op shop in Rollinsford NH as well as his own studio furniture making business, River City Furnituremaking. His furniture is made by commission and resides in both museum and private collections.

Prerequisite:Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking and Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, January 26 - February 6, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Ryan Messier
$1275

This course covers the essential elements needed to build a foundation of skills for fine woodworking projects. Topics include sharpening, tuning and the use of basic hand tools including paring chisels, hand plane, dovetail saw, card scraper and marking gauge; characteristics of wood and wood movement in furniture making; and the strategies of laying out and cutting dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery using flat and square reference surfaces. Demonstrations and student exercises develop skills such as chopping and paring with a chisel, and hand planing. Learn to lay out and cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints.

Traditional cabinetmaking practices are explained throughout the workshop and instructors emphasize how these methods can be used systematically in any woodworking project.

Ryan Messier is a fine furniture and chairmaker located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Formal training at the North Bennet Street School provided a wide skill-set which, blended with his artistic talents, has enabled him to create beautiful and intricate custom pieces.

Tools required for this workshop are about $375.

Register

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Introduction to bowl turning

Saturday - Sunday, February 7 & 8, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Janet Collins
$365

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED

This two-day workshop introduces students to faceplate and bowl turning, which is very different from spindle turning. In bowl turning, the grain of the wood is typically perpendicular to the bed of the lathe; in spindle turning, the grain is parallel to the bed of the lathe. Various methods of attaching the wood to the lathe and sharpening the appropriate tools for bowl turning are covered. Hands-on projects include small bowls and plates. Each student has a dedicated lathe. This class is open to all skill levels. The school has tools students may use during this class.

Janet Collins has been a professional woodworker and woodturner since graduating from the Cabinet and Furniture Making program at North Bennet Street School in 1996. She has developed and taught many of the woodworking and woodturning workshops at North Bennet Street School. Currently she teaches woodworking full time at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH..

Monday, February 9, 2015

Fundamentals of machine woodworking

Monday-Friday, February 9 - 13
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Brian McQuay
$695

THIS WORKSHOP IS CLOSED. Call to be put on Waiting list.

Woodworking machines don’t perform optimally until the user becomes familiar with their construction and proper adjustment. Students in this workshop develop the skills and confidence to perform basic operations and the background needed for more complicated operations. Machines are discussed in reference to specific woodworking tasks and set-up accordingly with the necessary fences, guides or fixtures. Proper techniques for operating each machine safely and for recognizing potentially dangerous situations are emphasized.

The course includes an overview of what to look for when purchasing new or used machines and reviews sources for machines, tooling and re-sharpening.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Turning for Furniture

Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 21 -22 & Feb. 28 - March 1 (two weekends)
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Janet Collins
$575

Using the lathe to create a footstool, students in this class learn both spindle turning to make the legs then move on to faceplate turning to make the stool’s seat.

Janet Collins has been a professional woodworker and woodturner since graduating from the Cabinet and Furniture Making program at North Bennet Street School in 1996. She has developed and taught many of the woodworking and woodturning workshops at North Bennet Street School. Currently she teaches woodworking full time at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH..

Register

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Intro to Woodworking for the Home Schooled

Wednesdays, February 25 - April 15
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Instructor: Chris Kearney
$300

Designed for middle-school-age home schooled students, these eight workshops teach tool use and safety through exercises that advance from simple to more complex. Students learn the basics of drafting, woodworkign and finishing through the completion of several projects. . Each project introduces students to new skills and tools and builds upon the lessons of earlier projects. The students will learn how to use various hand saws, planes, rasps, files and chisels to create attractive and useful items that will be enjoyed for years; from a simple pencil box or cutting board to a more intricate wall shelf or carved spoon.

Prior to attending the Cabinet and Furniture Making program, Chris Kearney taught middle school math and history for 10 years. After graduation Chris worked in cabinet and millwork shops on North Shore before starting CB Kearney Fine Woodworking and becoming a MA/NH certified Industrial Technology instructor. He has taught woodworking, drafting and metal shop for various school districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can see some of his custom furniture at www.cbkearney.com

Register

Monday, March 2, 2015

Three-month furniture making intensive

Monday - Friday, March 2 - May 29, 2015 no class: 3/17,4/20,5/25
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Jamey Pope
$6000
$1800 deposit to hold space for registrant
The discount for new students does not apply for this workshop

This furniture making intensive should be considered by those who wish to learn as much as possible about furniture making in three months. Participation in this course can also be used by students who wish to enhance their skills to be better prepared to attend one of North Bennet Street School’s full-time programs. This course is designed to guide the student from basic hand and machine skills to advanced techniques in furniture making with each student building a final project from rough lumber. The first part of the course covers the hand and machine skills taught in Fundamentals of Fine Woodworking and Fundamentals of Machine Woodworking courses.

Students complete several basic and advanced joinery samples and other projects prior to building a more complex final project that includes techniques that can be used in building a wide range of furniture and provides students with the knowledge and skills to build most tables and case pieces. Students are taken to a lumber yard and guided through the process of choosing and purchasing the appropriate stock for the project. Students practice various styles of legs including turned and tapered legs.

In addition, we cover: basic drafting, reading and following furniture plans, project organization, developing procedures and stock lists, working safely, efficiently and accurately, spindle and faceplate turning, veneering curved and flat surfaces, case and table construction, and finishing. The hand-cut and machine-cut joinery includes: half blind and through dovetails, mortise and tenon, multiple stub tenons, twin tenons, housed tapered dovetails, dovetailed drawer dividers, dovetailed vertical partitions, shaping and cutting molding and curved and flat drawer construction.

Please read cancellation policy on our continuing education page. This course has no prerequisite. Students are responsible for material costs of approximately $300.

Jamey is a 2006 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program. Before becoming a custom furnituremaker, Jamey was a general contractor.

Register

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Tuesday & Thursday evenings, March 3 - May 12, 2015. No class March 17
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Instructor: Judith Hanson
$1275

This course covers the essential elements needed to build a foundation of skills for fine woodworking projects. Topics include sharpening, tuning and the use of basic hand tools including paring chisels, hand plane, dovetail saw, card scraper and marking gauge; characteristics of wood and wood movement in furniture making; and the strategies of laying out and cutting dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery using flat and square reference surfaces. Demonstrations and student exercises develop skills such as chopping and paring with a chisel, and hand planing. Learn to lay out and cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints.

Traditional cabinetmaking practices are explained throughout the workshop and instructors emphasize how these methods can be used systematically in any woodworking project.

Judith Hanson is a 1994 graduate of the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program and has a sculpture degree from MassArt. She is a self-employed custom-woodworker in Medford, Massachusetts and teaches at MassArt.

Register

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Introduction to Spindle Turning

Sunday, March 22, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Janet Collins
$200

Students will learn the basic cuts to make while turning a hardwood mallet. They will learn to choose the proper tools to make specific cuts and shapes and also learn proper sharpening techniques. Prerequisite: None..

Janet Collins has been a professional woodworker and woodturner since graduating from the Cabinet and Furniture Making program at North Bennet Street School in 1996. She has developed and taught many of the woodworking and woodturning workshops at North Bennet Street School. Currently she teaches woodworking full time at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH..

Register

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fundamentals of fine woodworking

Monday - Friday, March 23 - April 3, 2015
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Instructor: Ryan Messier
$1275

This course covers the essential elements needed to build a foundation of skills for fine woodworking projects. Topics include sharpening, tuning and the use of basic hand tools including paring chisels, hand plane, dovetail saw, card scraper and marking gauge; characteristics of wood and wood movement in furniture making; and the strategies of laying out and cutting dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery using flat and square reference surfaces. Demonstrations and student exercises develop skills such as chopping and paring with a chisel, and hand planing. Learn to lay out and cut dovetail and mortise-and-tenon joints.

Traditional cabinetmaking practices are explained throughout the workshop and instructors emphasize how these methods can be used systematically in any woodworking project.

Ryan Messier is a fine furniture and chairmaker located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Formal training at the North Bennet Street School provided a wide skill-set which, blended with his artistic talents, has enabled him to create beautiful and intricate custom pieces.

Tools required for this workshop are about $375.

Register

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shaker oval boxmaking

Sunday, April 12
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Judith Hanson
$325

Working with prepared ovals and box bands, students learn to bevel, steam and bend Shaker box bands and fit and tack them to lids and bottoms. Lectures and demonstrations cover a brief history of the Shakers and their woodcraft. Each student makes three Shaker boxes. Topics include re-sawing wood into box bands, making templates, cutting finger patterns, making oval cores for shaping constructing and finishing boxes, and sources for box materials.

Prerequisite: None. If you don’t already own woodworking tools, expect to spend approximately $60 on tools.

Register

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fundamentals of machine woodworking

Tuesday and Thursday, May 19 - June 18
6:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Instructor: Ellen Kaspern
$695

Woodworking machines don’t perform optimally until the user becomes familiar with their construction and proper adjustment. Students in this workshop develop the skills and confidence to perform basic operations and the background needed for more complicated operations. Machines are discussed in reference to specific woodworking tasks and set-up accordingly with the necessary fences, guides or fixtures. Proper techniques for operating each machine safely and for recognizing potentially dangerous situations are emphasized.

The course includes an overview of what to look for when purchasing new or used machines and reviews sources for machines, tooling and re-sharpening.

Ellen Kaspern has been a custom furniture maker since graduating from the NBSS Cabinet & Furniture Making program in 2003. She is a member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers in Boston.

Register

Monday, June 15, 2015

Intro to Woodworking/Summer Youth Program

Monday - Friday, June 15 - 19
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Chris Kearney
$600

In this five-day course, students (6th, 7th, 8th grade) will learn the basics of drafting, woodworking and finishing through the completion of several projects. Each project introduces students to new skills and tools and builds upon the lessons of earlier projects. The students will learn how to use various hand saws, planes, rasps, files and chisels to create attractive and useful items that will be enjoyed for years; from a simple pencil box or cutting board to a more intricate wall shelf or carved spoon.

Prior to attending the Cabinet and Furniture Making program, Chris Kearney taught middle school math and history for 10 years. After graduation Chris worked in cabinet and millwork shops on North Shore before starting CB Kearney Fine Woodworking and becoming a MA/NH certified Industrial Technology instructor. He has taught woodworking, drafting and metal shop for various school districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can see some of his custom furniture at www.cbkearney.com

Register

Monday, August 24, 2015

Intro to Woodworking/Summer Youth Program

Monday - Friday, August 24 - 28, 2015
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Chris Kearney
$600

In this five-day course, students (6th, 7th, 8th grade) will learn the basics of drafting, woodworking and finishing through the completion of several projects. Each project introduces students to new skills and tools and builds upon the lessons of earlier projects. The students will learn how to use various hand saws, planes, rasps, files and chisels to create attractive and useful items that will be enjoyed for years; from a simple pencil box or cutting board to a more intricate wall shelf or carved spoon.

Prior to attending the Cabinet and Furniture Making program, Chris Kearney taught middle school math and history for 10 years. After graduation Chris worked in cabinet and millwork shops on North Shore before starting CB Kearney Fine Woodworking and becoming a MA/NH certified Industrial Technology instructor. He has taught woodworking, drafting and metal shop for various school districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You can see some of his custom furniture at www.cbkearney.com

Register


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Questions and suggestions

Jim Morris
Director of Continuing Education
617-227-0155 x130
email Jim

GIVE THE GIFT OF CRAFT

Not sure what to give your craft-loving family and friends. NBSS gift certificates can be used toward purchases in the NBSS store or continuing education workshops and are available for purchase in any amount. BUY NOW.

Other carpentry and furniture making classes

This is a partial list of class that have been offered in the past. If there is one or more that interest you, write to Megan Kenealy. We welcome class requests.

  • Garden tool and tote
  • Platform framing
  • Stairbuilding
  • Advanced techniques in furniture making
  • Boston case furniture and the challenges of compound curves
  • Brettstuhl workshop
  • Chip carving
  • Chippendale chair workshop
  • Continuous armchair
  • Continuous-arm windsor chairDecorative inlay
  • Dovetails
  • Drafting for furniture makers
  • Elements of chair construction
  • Finials for furniture
  • Flat edge tool sharpening
  • Fundamentals of fine woodworking
  • Fundamentals of machine woodworking
  • Georgian footstool
  • Hammer veneering and the vacuum press
  • Intermediate bowl turning
  • Introduction to bowl turning
  • Introduction to shapers
  • Introduction to spindle turning
  • Machine maintenance: bandsaw
  • Machine maintenance: tableSaw
  • Machine safety: routers
  • Machine woodworking - pembroke table
  • Machine woodworking: shaker table
  • Parent and child toolbox workshop
  • Parent/child course: wall shelf
  • Pie crust serving tray
  • Relief carving
  • Restoration of gilded surfaces
  • Sand shaded fan
  • Shaker oval boxmaking
  • Three month furniture making intensive
  • Tool box workshop for teens
  • Turning for furniture makers
  • Veneering fundamentals